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Household Behavior and the Marriage Market

  • Daniela del Boca


    (University of Turin and Collegio Carlo Alberto)

  • Christopher Flinn


    (New York University)

There is some controversy in the field of household economics regarding the efficiency of household decisions. We make the point that a flexible specification of spousal preferences and the household production technology precludes the possibility of using revealed preference data on household time allocations to determine the manner in which spouses interact: efficiently or inefficiently. Under strong, but standard, assumptions regarding marriage market equilibria, marital sorting patterns can be used essentially as "out of sample" information that allows us to assess whether household behavior is efficient or not. We develop a new likelihood-based metric to compare marriage market fits under the two alternative behavioral assumptions. We use a sample of households drawn from a recent wave of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, and find strong evidence supporting the view that household behavior is (constrained) efficient.

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Paper provided by Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group in its series Working Papers with number 2012-013.

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Date of creation: Jun 2012
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Handle: RePEc:hka:wpaper:2012-013
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  1. Fernández, Raquel & Guner, Nezih & Knowles, John, 2001. "Love and Money: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis of Household Sorting and Inequality," CEPR Discussion Papers 3040, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Martin Browning & Pierre-Andre Chiappori, 1994. "Efficient Intra-Household Allocations: a General Characterization and Empirical Tests," Department of Economics Working Papers 1994-02, McMaster University.
  3. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1988. "Rational Household Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 63-90, January.
  4. Daniela Del Boca & Christopher Flinn, 2009. "Endogeneous Household Interaction," Working Papers 2009-001, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
  5. Chen, Zhiqi & Woolley, Frances, 2001. "A Cournot-Nash Model of Family Decision Making," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(474), pages 722-48, October.
  6. Fran�ois Bourguignon & Martin Browning & Pierre-André Chiappori, 2009. "Efficient Intra-Household Allocations and Distribution Factors: Implications and Identification," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(2), pages 503-528.
  7. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1992. "Collective Labor Supply and Welfare," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 437-67, June.
  8. Maurizio Mazzocco, 2007. "Household Intertemporal Behaviour: A Collective Characterization and a Test of Commitment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(3), pages 857-895.
  9. repec:bla:restud:v:74:y:2007:i:3:p:857-895 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner & John Knowles, 2002. "More on Marriage, Fertility and the Distribution of Income," RCER Working Papers 489, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  11. Randall P. Walsh & Murat F. Iyigun, 2004. "Building the Family Nest: A Collective Household Model with Competing Pre-Marital Investments and Spousal Matching," 2004 Meeting Papers 168, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  12. John Dagsvik & Helge Brunborg & Ane Flaatten, 2001. "A behavioral two-sex marriage model," Mathematical Population Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2), pages 97-121.
  13. Bound, John, et al, 1994. "Evidence on the Validity of Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Labor Market Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(3), pages 345-68, July.
  14. S. Rao Aiyagari & Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner, 2000. "On the State of the Union," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(2), pages 213-244, April.
  15. Eugene Choo & Aloysius Siow, 2006. "Who Marries Whom and Why," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(1), pages 175-201, February.
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